New Year’s Resolutions

With New Year’s Day coming up, here’s the question: New Year’s resolutions — to be or not to be? And if they are to be, will we keep the ones we make?

Why is it that people make New Year resolutions anyway? In general, a New Year’s resolution is a decision one makes to reform old habits or achieve new goals. One’s success in fulfilling his or her New Year’s resolution depends, to a considerable degree, on the nature of the resolution and the determination of the person making the resolution.

There are endless possibilities for New Year’s resolutions that can range from personal care/habits, family activities/goals to motivation to help others such as people in need, charities or even helping animals and wildlife. Losing weight and improving diet and lifestyle is the most common New Year’s resolution across the globe. Now, setting a resolutions means setting a goal and striving to accomplish that goal, but the goal must also be reasonable and achievable.

For those who may be considering a personal care, diet and or lifestyle resolution, check out some of our recommendations!

The Garden Diet- 21 Day Cleanse

The Garden Diet 21 Day Raw Cleanse is a 100% Raw Vegan Menu Plan with recipes for every meal of the day including Delicious Fresh Foods, Juices, Mylks, Teas, Fruits, and Veggies! Full 21 Day Menu with recipes and shopping lists make going raw easy! The program also inlcludes a fun and highly effective exercise program delivered via online videos. And it also includes a Ground-Breaking 21 Day Well-Being Program cultivating happiness, an often-forgotten but fundamental key to long-lasting health and true beauty! The motivational segment of this program Includes daily journaling exercises and motivational reading to increase your emotional well-being! Click HERE for more information!

sarah before and after The Garden Diet raw food cleanse

The Garden Diet- 28 Days to Raw!

Transition to Raw Food DietEver thought about going Raw or want to but don’t know how? Check this out!! The Garden Diet is an Online Support Program and Virtual Raw Retreat you can do in your own home! A Life-Changing Program to help you easily and safely transition into a Raw Vegan Lifestyle! A balanced raw food, fresh-food-based menu plan with no supplements or superfoods! This simple program is so easy, you can do it in the comfort of your own home and it is definitely achievable! Give it a try and share your testimonials! Click HERE for more information!

juice

Garden Diet- Raw Empowerment Program

Not sure if you can do it? The Garden Diet’s new Raw Empowerment Program will help you make sure you do it—deliciously! The Garden Diet is an effective prevention diet and health-producing lifestyle for almost everyone—even pregnant and nursing mothers, athletes, and children of all ages. The Garden Diet is naturally rejuvenating, anti-aging, and healing, and helps you reach your ideal weight, without counting calories or suffering from cravings! When you eat how Nature intended, you simply return to your natural, healthy shape, almost effortlessly! Click HERE for more information!

These programs are bound to get you excited about your goal and will keep you on track to achieving your New Year’s Resolution! We are all strong individuals that can do anything that we put our minds to and we should prove that to ourselves! Set your New Year’s Resolution and see how great you feel when you reach it!! Go for it!

Here at Upaya Naturals we are always striving to be the best that we can be in our physical well being, diet and lifestyle but we also believe in setting resolutions and goals towards helping others and educating others. Our staff members have set resolutions to help animals in any way possible. This means making possible contributions, educating, researching and more! We are animal lovers and believe that if we can set resolutions to help ourselves than we certainly set resolutions to help others. We share our planet with animals, we encounter them often and they deserve the same respect that we give to human beings.

In the next 3 weeks, stay tuned for our Staff’s Favorites! We will be posting a new blog each week featuring a staff member’s favorite animal. We want to show you what we know about the animals, what we have learned, things we can do for them and some things you may have never known about the animal kingdom! If you are an animal lover then you do not want to miss our upcoming series!

Winter Activities for the Cold Weather

Winter provides a wonderful opportunity to get active and discover the great outdoors…or the great indoors if the cold isn’t your cup of hot chocolate!

Although many people tend to be less active in the winter that might change if they knew physical activity actually boosts the immune system. That makes it easier to fight colds and the flu. Being active can also helps combat depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that some people live with, caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during the shorter winter days. Maintaining a health body weight is also easier when you are active.

What really helps people become and stay physically active all winter long is the pure enjoyment of it! Take a look at some of the winter activities that we have come up with…

Skiing and Snowboarding

Skiing and/or snowboarding is a really great way to stay active this winter! Do you live in a place with lots of snow and can’t seem to find a way to stay warm? Warm up on the slopes! Whether you have your own skis or snowboard that you will be taking with you or if you are going to rent from the equipment shop, you are bound to keep warm while keeping your body in motion, having TONS of fun and picking up a few new skills. Almost all ski resorts have trainers ready and willing to teach you a thing or two so whether you are a beginner or an experienced pro, why not give skiing or snowboarding a try?!

Tobogganing

Tobogganing is one of our great Canadian traditions! Pack up the family and head out to one of your favorite tobogganing hills whether it be in your backyard or a little journey away. Tobogganing can be an excellent way for children to stay active and enjoy the outdoors during the long winter months and will surely thrill both the young and the young at heart!

Snowshoeing

There is no better way to begin snowshoeing than just going and doing it. Take a risk, rent or buy a pair of snowshoes, dress for the elements and enjoy. However, that’s just a start – there is more to it than just taking a refreshing plunge in some snow. From the early wood-frame to the aluminum-frame models, snowshoeing has garnered quite a following throughout the world. Modern day snowshoeing is made up of casual snowshoers who hike trails for pleasure, the snowshoeing enthusiasts who trek through the backcountry, and the competitors who race. Find some trails and take an adventure!

Not a fan of the chilly winter weather or don’t live in a place with snow? Why not try out some of these indoor activities to stay active and warm?

Indoor Swimming

Many indoor swimming pools offer a wide variety of different activities for children, adults and families. Some of these activities include: public swimming for the whole family, aquafitness classes and swimming lessons. Indoor swimming can offer a temporary relief from the winter blues and provide a little summery escape.. And they do say swimming is the best kind of exercise!

Rock climbing

Do you want to scale Mount Kilimanjaro? Want to take a pic at the top of Mount Everest? Do you want a challenge for all ages while staying fit and active? There are many indoor rock climbing facilities up and coming in many areas and is something that can be enjoyed alone, with friends or with family and is equally enjoyable for all ages!

So many people think it is okay to pack on those extra holiday pounds or take the time off from eating healthy or from working out around the holidays. But what most people don’t realize is that doing all of these things makes it that much harder to get back into your regular routine after the holidays are over. Staying active and fit can be so simple and so fun that we really shouldn’t have an excuse to keep ourselves feeling good! Winter time is the most common time of the year for cold and flu symptoms so why not boost our immune systems and have some fun! And if you are looking for an extra boost, click HERE for some products to consider this winter season for boosting your immune system.

Sacred Chocolates…What’s the big deal?

We all have those days when it seems that sweet tooth just won’t quit. Almost all of us are guilty of grabbing a sweet treat to crunch the craving and we feel oh so satisfied, but are we really making a wise choice when selecting our sweets? Most times, many people reach for a mars or a twix bar to satisfy that craving but have you have thought about grabbing something that is good for you AND satisfies that craving? The average chocolate bar in a grocery or convenience store will sell for roughly $2-$5 depending on the brand and many people aren’t comfortable spending much more on a little treat. But have you ever wondered why some other chocolates sell for $8-$15? What makes it worth THAT MUCH MONEY???? Take a look at one of the finest chocolate companies out there… Sacred Chocolate. Sacred Chocolate sells for about $7-$9 per bar and is worth every penny!

Sacred Chocolate is slowly stone ground below 115 degrees Fahrenheit from bean to bar and is hand poured and hand wrapped in a small custom-designed, certified organic, certified vegan, certified kosher, carbon balanced, 100% renewable energy factory in California.  This raw chocolate only includes healthy sweeteners such as Maple, Coconut, Inulin from Jerusalem Artichoke, Erythritol, and Stevia. Raw cacao is one of the most, if not THE most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to humanity. All chocolate starts out as raw cacao “beans” or nuts – the seed of the cacao fruit which grows on a tropical tree. The usual roasting/processing of chocolate destroys a significant amount of its valuable health supporting properties. The raw cacao beans go from bean to bar, where as other companies purchase cacao paste from overseas to save on costs… imagine that, billion dollar companies ‘cheaping’ out to save a penny. So many companies are using fake sugar substitutes and poor quality cacao or claiming that they have “raw” chocolate when in fact it is not raw at all! Then of course there is the taste factor.  It is common for many raw chocolates to have a gritty texture, but you certainly won’t find that with the Sacred Chocolatiers ~ they have done their research and they know what they are selling! Making chocolate seems to be a special gift that they have and with the awards they have already won, even against mainstream high end chocolatiers in the world, they are still coming out on top! They know and can guarantee that the products that they have created are really raw, natural and AMAZING! What we love is that we all get to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their labours and find a unique way to enjoy our day.

So what’s the big deal? What’s with all the fancy ingredients?

Using pure sugar substitutes makes a world of difference! Excessive sugar in the diet is not the best idea when it comes to healthy living. Nonetheless, few of us are consuming sugar in recommended moderate amounts and most of us are eating tons of it. In fact, worldwide we are consuming about 500 extra calories a day from sugar. That’s just about what you would need to consume if you wanted to gain a pound a week. Most people know that sugar is not good for them, but for some reason, they think the risk of excess sugar consumption is less than that of having too much saturated and trans fat, sodium or calories. Perhaps it’s sugar’s lack of sodium or fat that make it the “lesser of several evils,” or perhaps people are simply of the mind frame that what they don’t know won’t hurt them. If you really knew what it was doing to your body, though, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list. Check out this list for 10 shocking things you might not have known about sugar. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-kirkpatrick-ms-rd-ld/dangers-of-sugar_b_3658061.html. With Sacred Chocolates, you will never find cheap sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar used, but rather truly unique sweeteners that are low glycemic and even suitable for diabetics!

The coconut…. Eating coconuts are excellent for one’s immunity. They are antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, meaning they kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. it can help treat some of humankind’s worst and most resilient of illnesses such as influenza, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, and numerous other ailments caused by microbials. Is it a snack? Yes… but if you think about it, it goes WAY beyond a snack! To learn more about all the amazing qualities, check out http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-numerous-health-benefits-of-coconuts-2.html.

How to Enjoy a Sacred Chocolate:

To truly experience and enjoy a Sacred Chocolate, completely clean your pallet to eliminate anything that may alter the true Sacred flavour. Break a piece off and let it melt in your mouth and roll it over the tongue as it melts.  This will allow you to experience each unique ingredient and how its exotic dance with chocolate appeals. This is so satisfying and enjoyable, much more so than devouring it in a matter of seconds. These chocolates are not meant to be eaten in excess. A small amount goes a long way and really does satisfy that craving.

The amount of flavours to choose from is endless and there is bound to be a flavour to satisfy all the chocolate lovers out there and may even capture a few who haven’t liked chocolate in the past. Click HERE to see a list of all the Sacred Chocolates and flavors that we carry.

The list of all the health benefits can go on and on but at the end of the day, ask yourself, if you can have a treat that tastes amazing in a variety of different flavours, and is great for you, would you do it? Of course you would! Give the Sacred Chocolates a try, they are all amazing. As David Wolfe, author of Naked Chocolate says “Sacred Chocolate…is clearly the best chocolate bar ever. Take one bite and you will know that Sacred Chocolate has cracked the cacao code!”

A few testimonials:
“Sacred chocolate is quite a revelation. People must learn that optimal health can dance with optimal taste. It’s all part of a revolution of a heaven on this earth and what better way to celebrate. Steve’s stellar artistry has produced hands down the best chocolate on the planet. It mystifies the taste buds and charges massive creative energies to bring you to the next level.”
Sacred Chocolate is my favorite food! It’s the first thing I eat each morning before going for a trail run. It makes me feel fantastic: energized, happy, and full of life. I experience a deep sense of well-beingness when I eat Sacred Chocolate. I can feel what a huge difference it makes to eat chocolate that is raw, stone ground, and made with the highest quality ingredients and care. I could not live without Sacred Chocolate. It has uplifted my whole life.”
“I would just like to say that I am so blown away by what you do in your chocolate factory. I tasted your chocolate on Christmas day this year and I had the “Indian Sunset”. I cannot tell you how beautiful my experience was. The flavors melted in my mouth perfectly, as I closed my eyes it seemed I had been transported to the country itself!!”

A Vegan Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a celebration of religious freedom, miracles and light that starts on November 27 and ends on December 5. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. Hanukkah is a very special time of year for celebration and best of all, food! You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the holiday of Hanukkah and we would like to show you a three course vegan meal that can be served for Hanukkah and lots of other holidays as well. Some people think that going vegan means that you can’t take part in regular celebration because of dietary restrictions but this is not the case as all. Going vegan; especially around the holidays, give you an excuse to get creative and try new things! You can still enjoys the traditions of the holidays and all the food that comes with it, just in a new and creative way. Vegan dishes are just as tasty as other dishes and so much fun to make!

Matso Ball Vegetable Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and finely diced
  • 6 to 8 medium carrots, sliced
  • Handful of celery leaves
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the vegan matzo balls

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 cup light vegetable oil (such as safflower)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A few grindings of black pepper
  • Pinch of onion and garlic powder, optional

For the full list of instructions, visit: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/matzo-ball-soup-vegan/

Shepherd’s Pot Pie with Tofu 

INGREDIENTS:

For the tofu filling­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • 1 block tofu, pressed and drained
  • 4 Tbs.  chickpea flour
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped very small
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped into 2- inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For the Scallion Cheese Potatoes­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  • 2 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbs. vegan butter
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup vegan mozzarella, shredded

For the full list of instructions, visit: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/shepherds-pot-pie-with-tofu/

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup Xylitol (birch derived)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable  oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 3 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped, divided (optional)
  • 12 oz. vegan cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3 Tbs. coconut nectar, or more to taste

For the full list of instructions, visit: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/gluten-free-carrot-cake-with-walnuts-and-cream-cheese-frosting/